Blessed by Mt. Hakusan
The city sitting with its back to sacred
Mt. Hakusan provides a cornucopia
of natural ingredients.
Wild plant cuisineIn 2005, one city, two neighboring small towns, and five villages were merged into the biggest municipality in Ishikawa, and this new city was named after a nearby, holy mountain. All of that means it’s not so easy to express the characteristic of Hakusan with a single word. Acknowledging that the city will have some influence from the mountain in its backyard, one way to jump right in is to simply visit and try out some of the local, organic cuisine that the surrounding nature provides.For example, when searching for something special around the foot of Mt. Hakusan, one can’t leave out edible, wild plants or sansai. Hakusan provides a variety of mushrooms, Japanese royal ferns, western bracken ferns, giant butterbur and butterbur sprouts, aralia elata – the list goes on! Though some of these vegetables have strong flavors, once you try them served up as tempura, you will know they are addictive! Speaking of sansai wild plant tempura, they are ofte‘Soba’ (buckwheat noodles)n provided alongside of soba buckwheat noodles. At the foot of Mt. Hakusan are buckwheat fields with pretty white flowers. They are nourished by the pure, natural water from the mountain. Each soba restaurant has its own special recipe. Some serve dark, thicker noodles, while others make thin, white ones. Local people can always point you in the direction of a good bowl of soba noodles, recommending you one of their favorite restaurants. The Tedorigawa River originates at Mt. Hakusan before flowing northwest Hakusan City. In this beautiful water, especially upstream, live iwana (char), ayu (sweetfish), and yamame (cherry trout). From this simple convenience of proxRiver fish cuisineimity, some restaurants as well as guesthouses will serve you delicious river fish cuisine. Even though it’s generally said freshwater fish taste weak, let’s savor that flavor as “delicate”! With freshwater, the environment directly affects the taste of the organism. Therefore one can gather that fish inhabiting the river further upstream are the best. Start with one simply grilled and seasoned with salt to verify this quality!
What’s Kaga Crab Gohan?
Female crab set meals served
on Kutaniyakiand Yamanaka Shikki wares.
Kaga Crab Gohan, by definition, is as follows: a female crab rice dish, five small side dishes utilizing seasonal ingredients such as vegetables or seafood, a cup of seafood miso soup, a cup of chilled Kaga Bocha tea, and a dessert accompanied by cup of coffee, all served brilliantly on Kutaniyaki ceramics alongside Yamanaka Shikki lacquerware.
In the Hokuriku region, we call female snow crab kobakogani, which literally means flavor box crab. Although it has less meat compared to male crabs, its brain and roe during the winter months is a real delicacy of this region’s gastronomy. A valuable whole kobakogani unloaded at the Hashitate fishing port in Kaga City, along with Koshihikari brand rice from Ishikawa is the gold standard dish for this Kaga Crab Gohan set. Despite its limited catching season, you can order them anytime through the year at seven restaurants in Kaga City. Each of the seven features their original rice dishes, and they are all priced at 1,800 yen (yes, tax is included in price)! The number of Kaga Crab Gohan set meals at each restaurant is limited per day, so reservations are definitely recommended. Visit the web site once in a while to receive updates!
Surprisingly, certain Kutaniyaki porcelain and Yamanaka Shikki wares were actually made just for this cuisine by local artists. So please do not forget to appreciate their artistic presentation before eating!
Kaga Crab gohan (Kuimonya FURUSATO)
THE 7 SHOPS
and their main features of the Kaga Crab Gohan set meal:
1. Kaga Ryori BANTEI (Daishoji district): Crab congee with two flavors
2. Kuimonya FURUSATO (JR Kaga-Onsen station): Assorted crab sushi
3. CASA FORTUNA (JR Kaga-Onsen station area): Chilld crab risotto
4. KENSANTEI (Yamanaka Onsen): Tea-flavored crab rice and rice soup
5. Kappo KAGA (Yamashiro Onsen): Sizzling crab rice in a stone bowl
6. CHIKUSUI (Hotel Arrowle): Egg-wrapped crab rice with ankake sauce
7. MACHI-CAFE (Katayamazu Onsen): Crab and vegetable fritter bowl.
Kaga Crab Gohan
Visitor Center in JR Kaga-Onsen Station:
KAGA TABI MACHI NET
Phone 0761-72-6678 / Fax 0761-72-6679
Local Food in the Kabuki City
Dine casually, just like a Komatsu native!
You will simply adore their cuisine!
Komatsu Shioyakisoba (fried noodles)
Compared with the other two citiTsukudani (Walnut / Gori fish) with Kabuki packagees in southern Ishikawa, Komatsu has a more modernized atmosphere as an industrial city. Yet, people still simultaneously work to preserve their traditional culture. A splendid museum called Science Hills Komatsu was opened in 2014 just behind the old streets replete with traditional townhouses. Prominent “Kids Play Kabuki” is an annual event, performed on an outdoor street in Komatsu, and coinciding with the Otabi Matsuri festival. As a matter of fact, kabuki is sort of an icon for this city. You will find kabuki design, or even their kabuki mascot named “Kabukkie” on some of their food products such as Japanese crackers.
All of these reasons aside, Ishikawa people know that many goKabukkie Crackersod Chinese restaurants have been opened in Komatsu in the last six decades. In the wake of local competition and also cooperation with each other, one of their Chinese dishes, “Komatsu Shioyakisoba (fried noodles)” has become a ‘must-eat’ item! It is officially one of Komatsu City’s specialties, as well as Komatsu Udon noodles (wheat noodles). Indeed, these udon noodles in Komatsu have a longer history than their fried Chinese counterparts. One must go back to the Edo period to trace their origins. Pure water from Mt. Hakusan is utilized to make thin, soft, white noodles, as well as dashi soups. The tastes of many Japanese dishes are closely tied to water. Trying is believing anyway! Just order some when you are in Komatsu.
Komatsu Udon noodles with a prawn tempura, grated daikon radish, and a slice of Kabukkie kamaboko (steamed fish sausage).
Sake brewed with the water
Spa in Southern Ishikawa